Review | Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs by Susan Schaefer Bernardo

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs

Title: Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs
Author: Susan Schaefer Bernardo
Illustrator: Courtenay Fletcher

Genre: Children’s Fiction
Publisher: Inner Flower Child Books

Publishing date: 1st May, 2017
Pages: 32

My Rating: 3/5 stars

 

*e-copy received from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs is a beautiful new book with a simple but powerful message: love last forever.

Lyrical writing and delightful illustrations provide perfect bedtime reading for any child. The book is also ideal for supporting children through grief, separation anxiety, divorce, illness or other traumatic situations, by wrapping them in a warm and comforting emotional security blanket and opening a dialogue on the nature of love.

Even when loved ones cannot be with us, we can feel their presence through our deep connections to the natural world.


My Take:

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All that I want to say about the book is already said in the summary. I loved the lyrical writing in this and the illustrations were very colorful and detailed.

 

 

The only reason I gave it 3 stars is because of the ARC copy I received. I usually am very thankful for the ARCs I receive and ignore few grammatical errors because it’s an uncorrected copy but sending out a book which is difficult to read is obviously going to alter the reading experience and will affect the review.

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This was the case with most of the book.

I don’t know if all the ARCs sent out were like this or it was just my copy’s problem but it was surely irritating enough for me to reduce the rating. If not for the format issue, it would have easily been a 4 or even 4.5.

I was so disappointed by my copy that I couldn’t enjoy the wonderful writing.

That being said it is a beautiful little lyrical tale about how distance doesn’t mean that you don’t love someone and there are ways to remind people of how much we love them even when they are far from us.

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Why would I pick it up?

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For the beautiful writing and the illustrations. ❤

Review | Escaping Camp Ravensbrook by R.T.Johnson

Escaping Camp Ravensbrook

Title: Escaping Camp Ravensbrook
Author: R.T. Johnson
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: CreateSpace

Publishing date: 16th October, 2015
Pages: 148

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

*Book received from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

Katrina is a girl who is caught and captured and is sent to Camp Ravensbrook after her parents die. She’s treated terrible there, but Katrina has a secret. She has witchcraft powers she uses for good, but Katrina wants to find a way out of there. When she meets Peter, she realizes that he’s the right man for her. But she’s worried about the fact that he might not accept her witchcraft powers. Will they be able to make it out in one piece despite the horrors of a war going on? Or will they be sentenced to this camp forever?


My Take:

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a smooth ride from the start to the end. No lows, no disappointments. ❤ ❤

Katrina is 16 years old when her parents are murdered and she is captured and sent to Camp Ravensbrook with her Aunt.

“Katrina looked out the small window at the very back of the truck and saw men lighting her home on fire. The place she grew up. The place she learned to walk, talk, read, and do magic, was slowly burning. Within moments, it turned into a pile of ash. Katrina felt tears form in the corner of her eyes. She bit her lip and held them back. Weakness could get her killed.”

Camp Ravensbrook is a women’s prison, the condition of the prison is horrible and the women are treated miserably. But, Katrina is no normal girl, she has witchcraft to help her. She uses this power to ease some situations in the camp. They are touching to read. Her encounters with the guards while using the powers are thrilling as well as funny to an extent.

She falls for one of the guards, Peter. I liked his character very much. She is scared to tell him about her powers, what if he turns her in or doesn’t want to escape with her or doesn’t want to help. She thinks of all sorts of what ifs.

“… Illness didn’t matter. Death didn’t matter. Chores had to be done. And, Katrina and Alice had to work on their plan to escape.”

The emotions are very well portrayed in this book. You can feel a pretty strong connection with the characters which you don’t find in many middle grade books.

The lesson that this book teaches is of love and friendship. Some people might find the mention of rape in a book meant for middle graders uncomfortable but that was the truth of concentration camps. There’s no way to sugar coat reality. The language used is suitable for children so I don’t see any problem with the talk of rape being one of the evil things happening to women in the camp.

I liked the ending very much. I have read another book by the author, which was very good. This exceeds that book, the writing is much more gripping or maybe I enjoyed this book more than that. I would recommend this book to introduce the kids to the harsh reality in a light manner. 🙂


Why would I pick it up?

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For the well written premise spun from reality and fantasy. ❤


My review of another book by the author:

 

Review | Rick and Jake Meet King Arthur by R.T.Johnson

Rick and Jake Meet King Arthur (Rick And Jake Series Book 1) by [Johnson, Richard]

 

Title: Rick and Jake Meet King Arthur
Author: R.T. Johnson 
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: CreateSpace

Publishing date: 12th March, 2016
Pages: 190

My Rating: 3.75/5 stars

 

*Book received from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

King Arthur and King Ralic battle fiercely for Cornwall. When Merlin the Wizard is captured, King Arthur and his men lose the kingdom to Ralic. The only way to redeem the kingdom and save King Arthur’s lineage from the dark side is through his 70th generation grandson, Rick. Rick must pass five tests of honor and bravery in order for the kingdom to return to its rightful owner. If he fails just one of the tests, King Arthur’s kingdom and lineage are lost forever. Present day Rick is thrown into a world of kings, knights, battles, and life and death. Will he be able to save the kingdom? Will he be able to save his lineage?


My Take:

This was a fun and easy read. The colorful cover caught my attention at first, then the summary had my interest piqued.

“The only way to redeem the kingdom and save King Arthur’s lineage from the dark side is through his 70th generation grandson, Rick.”

70th Generation?! Now, that sounds interesting. 😉 (In the book it’s 50th Generation)

It was kind of funny reading the *sound effects* 😛 😛

“King Arthur wielded his sword high. SWOOOCCCH.
THUMP. Down fell the Damonion soldier.”

THROOOOOWWWWP. An arrow shot passed the King’s head, almost grazing the skin.:

“Sir Simon sat straight up in his saddle. “I will give the order, Sire. Bugler, sound the horn.”
TOOT TOOT TOOT TOOT TOOT”

This is an educational book hidden under fantasy. This book teaches about kindness, patience, honesty, selflessness, and bravery. 😀

“While King Ralic spoke, King Arthur heard a voice travel through the air. “Tell him evil has prevailed this time. There is pure evil and there is pure good. Pure good cannot be tainted with evil.””

Despite the back story being historic, the scenarios used to test Rick of all these qualities, who is 13 years old, is of the modern day and pretty believable. Not some unrealistic situation but something anyone can face. What we choose is what makes us who we are.

“So, you think you and your line would never falter. Well, I decree that your grandson of 50 generations will be given five tests. Each of those tests will tempt his purity. The lineage will well be weakened by then. If he fails just one of those tests, I will be proven right. It will be that there is no pure good. And, your entire lineage will be doomed to misery and hardship. And, you will lose your Kingdom forever.”

I liked the way it was written. It won’t bore anyone reading and learning about right things in a story is always a plus when that book is intended for middle graders, or kids in general.

“Do not worry, Richard. It is not always the size of a man’s weapon that will determine victory or defeat. Just be on guard.”

Calling Rick with his real name, Richard, can be a hit or miss; a) miss for, he is called Rick in the title so it kind of breaks the link with the whole book where he is called Richard. b) hit for, even when the story is taking place in today’s world, him being called Richard gives a hold to the back story as Rick would sound too modern.

Overall, the premise for the story is interesting and the characters unique. This is a good read for children and a quick easy read for adults. 😀 😀 The illustrations, which are actually sketches are good too. You can use them to color, because why not? 😛


Why would I pick it up?

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For the easy read with life lessons. 😀 😀


My review of another book by the author:

Review | Boyfriend for Hire by Gail Chianese

Boyfriend for Hire (West Side Romance, #2)

 

Title: Boyfriend for Hire
Series: West Side Romance (Book 2)
Author: Gail Chianese
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Shine

Publishing date: 24th November, 2015
Pages: 278

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

*e-copy received from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

In this sexy new series, author Gail Chianese celebrates the heart—and the heat—of modern dating. This time, a temporary boyfriend may be the right man for a permanent position…
 
The only girl in a family of five brothers, Tawny Torres has had enough of waiting on men. She has her life and her career all mapped out, and neither includes an apron, an iron, or a husband—yet. But when a new job emphasizes a healthy balance of work and play, she needs a guy to stand in as her love interest at a company picnic. Gorgeous charmer David “King of Pleasure” Farber fits the bill perfectly—so well that Tawny is shocked to realize she’s having a hard time letting him go…

David’s a confirmed bachelor, but he can’t get enough of Tawny’s firecracker combination of tough and tender. Unfortunately, he’s overloaded with work at his construction firm and now definitely isn’t the time for distraction—he struggles enough with that already. Still, he can’t ignore his feelings for Tawny. He’ll just have to convince her that he’s more than a
boyfriend-for-hire. And she’ll have to prove he can trust her with his biggest secret…


My Take:

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What an enjoyable book! ❤

I loved reading it. The writing is good and engaging. Although the concept of the book isn’t something fresh, the writing gives it its own essence. 😀 😀

The title “Boyfriend for Hire” might be a stretch because our lead pair are already friends and David already is hot for Tawny, the title gives off the strangers-falling-in-love vibe.

I am not a fan of the cover. :/ I have already read many fake-boyfriend-for-the-sake-of-job-or-family kind of books so the plotline wasn’t that intruiguing to me but the writing, the relationship growth, the character development made up for what the plotline lacked in originality.

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It sure was an entertaining read with sass and smartass… 😛 😛

The conversations between the pair are funny and highly entertaining, I liked Tawny’s no- nonsense attitude and Dave obviously is very likable. This is the second book in the series which I didn’t know at the time of reading but it can be read as a stand-alone. The main characters of this book act as supporting characters in the first book. I think that’s how the series is going to continue. This book makes me want to read the other books in the series.

A real entertaining read. 😀 😀


Why would I pick it up?

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For a fun and light read. 😀 😀

Review | Tumbled Graves by Brenda Chapman

Tumbled Graves (Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery, #3)

Title: Tumbled Graves
Series: Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery (Book 3)
Author: Brenda Chapman
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Dundurn Press

Publishing date: 27th February, 2016
Pages: 376

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

*e-copy received from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

A missing child. A dead mother. Kala Stonechild is about to discover what one betrayal can lead to.

When Adele Delaney and her daughter, Violet, go missing, Jacques Rouleau is called upon to investigate. However, struggling with the impending death of his ill ex-wife, he sends Kala Stonechild and Paul Gundersund instead. Stonechild has been trying to adapt to life as her young cousin Dawn’s guardian, and even though Gundersund has offered support, Stonechild is at risk of losing custody.

On the second day of the investigation, Adele’s body turns up, dumped on the shoulder of the highway with no sign of her daughter. Her husband, Ivo, denies any involvement with either his wife’s death of their child’s disappearance, but not everyone is convinced. As the investigation unfolds, Stonechild learns that Adele was once entangled with a Montreal biker gang and heads to Quebec to investigate further.

As Stonechild and Gundersund juggle personal troubles and a complicated, dangerous case, they find themselves piecing together a chain of disasters leading back to a single betrayal.


My Take:

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I love reading books where not only the main plot is interesting but the sub plots are very much as interesting. The main story line is the mystery related to the victims but the personal lives of the officers who are actually our main characters are as well explored as the main plot. Our main characters have problems of their own and they deal with it while solving the murder mystery.

This was a roller-coaster ride from the start to the end. I read it in one sitting because it was so good that I couldn’t put it down. It will pull you right in from the start and you will start rooting for the characters and cheer them to succeed in both professional and personal lives.

Reading this book, I want to read the remaining books in the series and fangirl about them. 😛 The characters are well-written. You can see Kala’s growth throughout the book, she has a problematic personal life but that is not what defines her. The suspense surrounding the mystery is well maintained till the very end. The book is fast paced and you will probably sail right through. 😉

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This is one of those books that I have too much to say yet nothing to say. I don’t know how to explain how well this is written so all I will say is GO READ THIS BOOK! ❤

 


Why would I pick it up?

Related imageFor the wonderful story, mystery, and writing. ❤ ❤

ARC Review | Via Roma by Mary Melfi

Via Roma

 

Title: Via Roma
Author: Mary Melfi
Genre: General Fiction
Publishing date: 1st November, 2015
Published by: Guernica Editions
Pages: 200 

My Rating: 2/5 stars  

 

*ARC received from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

A story of love and lust with philosophical overtones, Via Roma oscillates between joy and tragedy. Drawn to and intrigued by two men of Italian descent, both equally smart, loyal and attractive, Sophie Wolfe, a native-born Montrealer, chooses one over the other, setting into motion a series of events that culminates in the death of her husband. Part murder mystery, part road trip, this novel asks the question: “Why do people die?” Sophie journeys into the heart of the Italian mainland and discovers this country’s wondrous abilities to restore health and happiness to those who grieve. Intensely erotic, outspoken, earthy without being clinically pornographic or gushy, Via Roma is a metaphysical exploration of love, suspense, suffering and redemption.


My Take:

Part murder mystery, part road trip, this novel asks the question: “Why do people die?”

This line is what sold me on the boy. I love mysteries, I love road trips, add a little philosophy and you have me interested.

The synopsis wasn’t very promising, so I didn’t have much hope for this book and boy, was I right!

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For the life of me I couldn’t remember what the book was actually about. I had a hard time getting into the story and even harder time trying to remember what was on the page before. If I put the book down and start after some time then I couldn’t even remember reaching there.

Keeping track of the events was a task in itself. I cannot tell you much about the story because I cannot seem to remember what happened, all I remember is feeling confused and wanting the story to end.

The writing style wasn’t the most beautiful I have ever seen. It was very confusing. Either it was too rich or trying to be. It sure did have some beautiful lines but that’s about it.

It has some beautiful sentences about love and loss.

Via Roma oscillates between joy and tragedy.

This is what I got from the book, to be honest. The philosophy is also okay but the book failed to hold my attention which might have been the reason that I forgot about it as soon as I put it down. To be fair, that started while I was reading it.

I’ve marked out some beautiful lines from the book. Enjoy! ❤ 😉

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Why would I pick it up?

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To check out what I missed.